The rupture opened, a rip in space pouring through the air. They arrived in Andaris, but in an abandoned alleyway, with no one around. They hid in their homes and cowered - Veljorn was coming, and they knew it. Alistair knew it. It was why he had been so brazen with the placement of his portal, directly within the city grounds. His horse streamed through the portal with him, and shortly after came Duncan and his horse Tac. Ali looked briefly to the man before he turned back around, staring into the streets that overlooked the pier. They were on the southern side of the city, staring into Cyrene Bay, so graciously named after Alistair's earliest ancestor of import.
This city, this country, they all had significance to him that ran deeper than one could imagine. It was in his blood. In his name, "Venora". His house had been the architect of much of the greatness that was this Kingdom. Nora was the first monarch of these lands. Alistair's burden, as such, as one greater than regular man could imagine. In fact, he doubted anyone properly could. He'd met the other heirs, and most of them didn't care much for their duties, their obligations. They gallivanted around the Kingdom throwing their names and titles like sacks of coin, with no regard for the importance of these things. The prestige.
Alistair had always prided himself in his prestige. Always. His aura of authority was one that always streamed out from him; no one could doubt that he had the qualities of a leader. He tried to keep the Venora virtues closely to his heart: beauty, elegance, devotion, growth, nobility. Even though he often failed to be who he wanted to be, the overall identity remained. Alistair Nathaniel Venora was not a man, but a noble. They were different than one another. There was a divide between the two - to be nobility was to be above the realm of Rynmere, to sit upon the clouds with vested authority. To maintain nobility, others had to fear, respect and even love an individual. They had to know their place, and the hierarchy of power.
And that is why - so importantly - Alistair had failed himself. In this moment, he had failed himself more greatly than he had ever known. Every time another was forced to discover his magic, he was defeated. Because a mage was not a noble - a mage was a lawbreaker, a fiend, a demented little creature who wanted to play God. It had hurt to reveal to Andraska that he was a mage, and a Necromancer at that. But with Duncan . . . it had hurt the most. So deeply that he ignored it entirely, or tried to at least, numbing himself to how beneath the mercenary he felt. For the first time, he was below Duncan, in everything. In dignity, in honor, in lawfulness, in prestige, in authority. Now, he was nothing but another charlatan upon the road, and his words from before bore little.
He was a member of the Coven now. He would make that clear.
"Those undead were mine," he said, looking back to glance Duncan in the eye. His expression was entirely empty, his eyes were cold. His voice was low. No emotion was displayed. "I had them prepared for that moment - in which I would slaughter Marcus' band of traitors and hopefully the man himself. I failed. And that is why we are here." If the man had died, Alistair could have taken control of his retinue. They would not have had to make their escape. But it did not happen, and so now . . . Duncan knew. The Venora wouldn't conceal it or make up a convenient excuse. It would only seek to cause more harm. "You mustn't serve me anymore if you do not wish to. I understand how you individuals may not feel comfortable consorting with someone like me. It's fine. I'm good with rejection."
Was he? No. But - he tried to be. He deflected all of the negative influx of emotions that came alongside it; he turned this negativity into diligence, into order within his mind. He created sociopathy as a way to deal with the shame. This was the truth of who Alistair was. A truth Duncan couldn't know. A truth he himself failed to grasp. So he merely began to walk away, out from this dark as the suns ravaged his comfort. He did not look back, as he did not expect Duncan to do anything but leave and run off to the Gazette to tell them the truth. It would be a just end.